East Coast winter storm triggers Guard response
March 3, 2014
ARLINGTON, Va. (March 3, 2014) - While heavy snow continued falling Monday on some East Coast states, more than 300 National Guard members from five states were at the ready to assist local governments and their fellow citizens.
As of Monday morning, Guard members in Arkansas, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia were prepared to help out if needed.
The storm, the latest to hit the region this winter, was expected to dump up to nine inches of snow on the U.S. capital as it swept from the Mississippi Valley to the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states, the National Weather Service said.
If needed, National Guard vehicles will assist police and fire personnel in the District of Columbia during the storm, officials said,
The Delaware National Guard, in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, prepositioned personnel and vehicles in all three of the state's counties in preparation for the latest winter storm.
"Current predictions call for heaviest snow in the central part of the state, but prepositioning troops and equipment throughout gives us the ability to respond wherever needed," said Maj. Gen. Frank Vavala, Delaware's adjutant general.
A news release from Delaware said the majority of its approximately 150 Soldiers and Airmen are vehicle operators and typical support missions include: transport of Delawareans to safety, transport of police and other first responders, transport of medical workers to hospitals, and assisting stranded motorists.
In Virginia, the story was much the same.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency authorizing state agencies to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia. The Virginia Guard was authorized to bring up to 100 personnel on state active duty.
A Virginia Guard news release said about 70 members were positioned at readiness centers along the northern I-81 corridor, Leesburg and Fredericksburg.
An additional 20 Soldiers, Airmen and members of the Virginia Defense Force are on duty at the Joint Operations Center in Sandston, Logistics Operation Center at Fort Pickett and Virginia Emergency Operations Center in Richmond to provide mission command, administrative and sustainment support for units in the field, the Virginia Guard news release said.
(The Delaware National Guard and Cotton Puryear of the Virginia National Guard contributed to this article.)